This is a printer-friendly version of an article from

Article Published March 27, 2019
Beauty in Simplicity
John A. DellaVentura

For many, Chaffinch Island Park is Guilford’s best-kept secret, one we hold close to our hearts.

As a child, I spent many early mornings on the shores fishing with Moses Gunn. It is where I got my first stitches from a nasty cut walking barefoot on the rocks. It is where my family has celebrated milestones, resolved conflicts, and even struggled through the loss of loved ones. During difficult times, we gather there and leave a flower at the edge of the Sound. It is a place of peace and reflection.

Chaffinch Island’s beauty lies in its simplicity. Aside from a few welcomed memorial benches, the park has remained otherwise unchanged. Even the grills are the same as when I was a child, nearly 40 years ago.

It is the Wrigley Field of Guilford’s shoreline, admired for authenticity and natural charm, not a landmark to be built upon for short-term notoriety. It is a landscape and sanctuary that must be preserved.

I admire the Boy Scouts of America and its principles that state a scout is “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” Similarly, however, Chaffinch Island deserves our trust, our loyalty, our help, our friendship, our courtesy, our kindness, our obedience, our cheer, our thriftiness, our bravery, our cleanliness, and most important, our reverence.

We must respect the unique and timeless beauty of Chaffinch Island. It is my most sincere hope that the Guilford Parks & Recreation Department will reconsider the location of the proposed gazebo installation on this most special park. There are countless other town properties that would benefit from this project without compromising the integrity of such a wondrous space.

John A. DellaVentura